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David Axelrod, "The Poison Tree"




Some man died not out of accients, and interrogated God in apparent anxiety,

"For why am I died a nobody?"

God holds an admirable equanimity. Apparently those questions are hackneyed and are already registered in his Book.

"Because you were born to be one." God's self-possession is unperturbed.

"But I'd been trying all my might to become a not nobody." The man is readily demanding a satisfactory answer.

"Oh, then maybe you didn't try that hard." God's prevarication is slightly frail, for in his Life he has never met someone who is that persistent.

"But I did go the whole hog for everything that will make me become a somebody. I'd done numerous sacrifices just to achieve something I'd longed for." The man perseveres.

"Then blame the Destiny, blame the Fate. It was their faults that you were ending up as a nobody." God is running out of his wits, and his good-humouredness crucially tested.

"Perhaps you're the one I should blame then. I prayed to you every night, prayed to let my efforts be put into fruitful effect. Praying that no snags would be cast on my way to success. And to become a somebody eventually! Oh dear God how I even made dealings with you! I beseeched you to take away my everything just to make me a somebody before I close my eyes for the final time. How I kept myself taut and trimmed and well-behaved just to become something I'd always dreamed of." The man splutters out before he has time to wince at what he has just said, and the irregularly fast pace results in his spasmodic seizures.

God is visibly baffled. FOr one, he has never, in his Life, met such a dogged headcase. The other is simply his inability to concoct a convincing answer to the man's streams of impregnable retorts.

In reflection, he did get implored of such requests before. This one is just one among a myriad. M,ultitudes of men have asked of becoming a somebody. Most have given up when they realize they are hopeless to get answered, some persist nonetheless.

But not one, in God's Life, still demands the same when he is no longer Flesh! And to challenge his authority! God notably resents how some, who are not his stalwart followers, always unscrupulously underestimate his presence.

God decides to pull on a stern face and fume at the figure before him,

"For where did you get the audacity of speaking to me thus? It was initially my sole wish to create all men alike. All your 'nobodys.' However, some reckless ones can never be contented with what they have, so they resort to some foolish acts like noting down their memories, noting down of what they said. Some evern go overboard by spinning unfeasible yarns of the 'somebodys,' who never should have existed at all, and this eventually leads up to some devious phenomenom with 'nobodys' dreaming of dreams of the 'somebodys.' Who is that major culprit? THe Dickens! How he fabricated tales of nobodys living up to become somebodys, but where is he now? What is he doing now?"

God is cut short by his sudden glitch of forgetting which Dickens he should be referring to, for there are thousands of Dickenses on his Book.

Nevertheless, the man is already fazed by such a powerful speech addressed by his dear God, not to mention how his growing compunction is now gnawing his whole body. Sensing this, God dispatches someone to take away the weeping man who curls his body into a wrinkled dough. Resuming his admirable equanimity, God calls in the next man.

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"The people who have the worst cooks are always telling you they're poisoned when they dine out."- Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

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